Audio

An Introduction To St. Lucia

Born and raised in South Africa, Brooklyn-based synthpop project St. Lucia (aka Jean-Philip Grobler) is putting SA on the world map.


Nowadays he may be Brooklyn-based and making waves in Passion Pit-paved pools, but Jo'burg-born Jean-Philip Grobler aka St. Lucia kicked off his life in music in KZN's mountains at the highly-held Drakensberg Boys' Choir School. We even heard rumblings (via the man himself) that Grobler was one of those nicely voiced kiddos in this historic video, a young'n singing SA's National Anthem at the opening game of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Though it's easy to assume his tropical synth-pop project's namesake stems somewhere in the Caribbean, St. Lucia's roots are SA-grounded — a spot on South Africa's map that Grobler just so happened to land a pen on (as legend has it in this SXSW interview). With two EPs already under his belt and a debut album set for release October 8 via Neon Gold, we thought we'd highlight five tracks to get acquainted with St. Lucia.

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"Elevate" (from St. Lucia's upcoming full length When the Night)

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"September"

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"Before the Dive"

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"We Got It Wrong"

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"Closer Than This"

Interview

Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.

It's all about happiness for Made Kuti. He wants to spend his entire life making music and living contentedly while doing so. This is why he is living above pressures, people's expectations of what the legendary Fela's grandson should look like and the kind of music he should be making.

"My goal is to attain internal happiness and I know that this can't come externally. It can't come from what people think of me and it can't come from me searching for other people's approval and I understood that long ago."

While he was alive, Fela Anikulapo Kuti—the legendary creator of the afrobeat genre—had bragged multiple times about his immortality and how he would never die. Many had understood his claim to be literal, when he in fact meant that his work and legacy would forever be remembered. Proof of this is a joint album project by Femi Kuti and Made Kuti, son and grandson of the man who is arguably the greatest musician to have emerged from the African continent.

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